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Mike Preston's report card after the Ravens' 26-9 loss to the Steelers

Columnist Mike Preston gives his position grades for the Ravens' game against the Steelers. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Quarterback: Joe Flacco seemed to heat up in the third quarter, but his two interceptions in the fourth were killers. Flacco got hit a lot, but he also held on to the ball too long several times. He should have thrown a better pass for a possible touchdown to wide receiver Breshad Perriman, but the receivers also dropped a few. Grade: D

Running backs: The Ravens finished with 82 yards on 15 carries, but one of those attempts was for 50 yards. Running back Alex Collins has explosiveness but he has to learn to hold on to the ball. Terrance West had four rushing attempts for minus 7 yards and wasn't a factor in the game. Neither was No. 3 running back Buck Allen. In their defense, there weren't too many holes to run through. Grade: D

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Receivers: The Ravens took turn dropping passes as Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Perriman were members of the poor hands club. Wallace, though, had five receptions for 55 yards. Tight end Ben Watson has become Flacco's go-to receiver and he had five catches for 43 yards. Michael Campanaro had four catches for 26 yards. Grade: C-

Offensive line: The Ravens weren't getting any movement at the line of scrimmage and Pittsburgh had four sacks. Flacco was under constant duress and the Steelers stayed consistently with a three- or four-man rush except occasionally bringing pressure off the corner. The Ravens aren't getting much from the interior of this group. Grade: D

Defensive line: Tackle Michael Pierce turned in a strong effort with seven tackles and tackle Willie Henry and Carl Davis were solid. The Ravens were disciplined up front and cut off initial movement but had trouble shutting down the cutback lanes. The Ravens have to get more pressure from this group. Grade: C

Linebackers: Outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs and Matthew Judon did not hold the edge in the game, which is why the Steelers repeatedly ran the counter play to Bell outside. Suggs had very little impact on the game and the Steelers continues to go after inside linebacker C.J.Mosley in pass coverage. The Ravens need to find a full-time player on the weakside. Grade: F

Secondary: Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey have played well and fellow cornerback Brandon Carr has been solid. But Lardarius Webb continues to give up big receptions on third downs as the nickel back and the other safeties have no presence over the middle. Grade: C+

The Baltimore Sun's instant analysis from Ravens' 26-9 loss to the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Special teams: It was not a strong performance by punter Sam Koch, at least not be his own standards. The Ravens did average 24 yards on four kickoff returns and weren't bashful in their efforts. Pittsburgh returned two kickoffs for 36 yards. The Ravens did have two penalties and Justin Tucker converted a 42-yard field goal. Grade: C+

Coaching: Coach John Harbaugh made a good call on his challenge in the third quarter. Overall, the offensive game plan was solid but boring. This team is limited because of the offensive line. The defense struggled in the first half but played well in the second. The group tired in the fourth because they didn't get much support from the offense. Failure to stop Pittsburgh's counter play was a major disappointment because it was the Steelers' bread-and-butter play. Grade: C-

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